The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia (CME) has welcomed the Western Australian Government’s announcement to support strategic regional based projects to develop Western Australia, in its submission to the Commonwealth’s Building Australia Fund.
CME Chief Executive Reg Howard-Smith has commended the Premier’s approach, stating “Projects such as Pilbara Housing and the Oakajee Port are essential to addressing growth-related issues impacting regions of vital importance to the State and National economies.”
According to the CME, with the cost of housing in the Pilbara now 49% higher than in Perth, urgent action is required to ensure that Pilbara towns are attractive places to live and work.
“The State and Australian economies rely heavily on output from the Pilbara, however, the lack of affordable housing and essential services threatens the sustainability of the region in the long term,” Howard-Smith said.
Howard-Smith highlighted that the Government’s priority areas complement the work undertaken by CME’s industry-led Pilbara Industry’s Community Council (PICC).
“PICC has identified housing as the critical enabler to solving existing blockages to improvement in Government services in the Pilbara, in particular, the essential service provision of education and health care,” he said.
Howard-Smith also endorsed strategic regional projects including Oakajee Port and essential services for remote Indigenous communities.
“We look forward to working collaboratively with the State and Commonwealth Governments to progress these strategic projects.”